The Gallery Wall

I have a small gallery wall in my dining room and one in my bedroom as well. They are both mostly done but still need a little work. The gallery wall above my sofa in my last apartment was one of my favorite little vignettes in my home. So simple and pretty! I wanted to recreate that same feel but kick it up a notch or two, and I think I've done it. In case you haven't seen it, here is my old gallery wall below, and the rest of my old home tour.

Some inspiration from around the web... 


And a peek at my new gallery wall. It's a work in progress!

If you have any great resources for art (favorite etsy shops, etc...) I'd love to hear them!


Dear Santa

I would like a cute frenchie rescue pup to call my own. She must be a rescue and has to be a girl because Eloise is a terrible name for a boy. I can handle a minor issue or two, but let's not have her need surgery like a certain little rescue pup we all know and love. Yes, Buddy–you're perfect, but I had to pay a small fortune to fix that leg of yours. And then there was the time it broke again. And the 9 casts. And all those x rays. And your crazy skin allergies. You also stole my faux fur blanket from Restoration Hardware. But I love you and wouldn't trade you for anything.

So Santa, please bring me a puppy and $5000 to cover any crazy vet bills. And if you're feeling fancy, how about a boyfriend who wants to take both pups (and maybe the trash) out once it starts snowing. Ha. Thank you, sir.

What do you want for Christmas? 

image via


Lately // Holiday Edition

It was a very merry little holiday weekend. A live musical performance, Thanksgiving with friends, drinks, brunch, shopping, decked the halls, and of course CrossFit. A little recap.

I started the long weekend on Wed at 2:00 when I saw Gentelman's Rule with my friend Megan. And even though we were sure there would be Christmas music, this was not a Christmas performance. Still–we had fun. After the show we walked around Lincoln Park and did a little shopping.

I want that furry hat so badly but am aware of fact that I look ridiculous in it. Still–I want it. I did buy this faux fur neck warmer in cream (on sale, of course).

That night I baked a paleo pumpkin pie and partially paleo mini pumpkin cheesecakes. Paleo crust // non paleo filling. Paleo pumpkin pie is not the same as regular pumpkin pie, but it was still good!

I made mashed sweet potatoes on Thursday and then spent the day celebrating with friends. Had such a fun thanksgiving!

Went out with friends Friday and Saturday night–Benchmark, Old Town Pour House, and Stout.

Went to CrossFit Friday and met Taylor for lunch.

CrossFit Saturday morning, too. My knee was bugging me (it is not injured but I am still developing strength and over-using my knees a bit) so I worked on pull-ups the entire time. 13 unbroken with the blue band, 7 unbroken with red, and 2 unbroken with pink! To think that weeks ago I couldn't do one with red. The most amazing feeling! I am basically one step away from a real pull-up!

Post WOD lunch at Melli with Colleen and Amanda on Saturday. Went home, walked to a tree lot bought a tree and garland. I carried them home and up four flights of stairs by myself, When Harry Met Sally Style.

My mom offered to order a few things for me for Christmas, so I chose this top and a few other gifts. Thanks, mom!

Sunday brunch at Tavern with Gina, Colleen, and Jessie. We did a little shopping, and G and I tried on jeans. I bought some amazing new skinny jeans, and these velvet pants. Love, love, love them. If you are in between two sizes, I recommend going up a size.

Grabbed a quick dinner with friends and went home to clean, edit photos, and relax.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!


The Look for Less: Black Boots

I love Loeffler Randall's Matilde boot (bought a pair almost 50% off years ago) but can't spend that much on a pair of shoes. I've been looking for a great flat black boot for forever and was so excited when I found the Boutique 9 Zanny boot. Normally $215 but on sale for $150, and when you spent $250+ at Shopbop you get 20% off. I had to buy them. I kinda sorta got these, too. I am a flats girl after all, and have trouble resisting anything that sparkles. Especially when it's 20% off. Happy Holidays to me!



I have found myself feeling more stressed than usual the past few months. Juggling two businesses, working out 4-5x a week, and decorating my apartment has felt like a lot. But–it's Thanksgiving and I cannot help but think of all the things I have to be thankful for.
Friends. When I moved to Chicago, I knew no one. Here I am living 2,000 miles away almost 2.5 years later, and I am definitely not alone. I was invited to three Thanksgivings. Unless I save a stranger on the tracks and join his family for the holidays (I love While You Were Sleeping a little too much), it looks like I'll be spending the holiday with friends as well. So grateful.

Graphic design projects. Currently working on a logo, look book, and multiple blogs along with The Everygirl. But instead of stressing out about all of this work, I am thankful for my wait list.

The Everygirl. Balancing current and upcoming features has felt especially overwhelming lately. But one year ago, we were prepping to announce/launch the site, and here we are celebrating the site being live for exactly 9 months. We've partnered with some pretty incredible brands and have created a site that inspires young women. The positive is easy to see here. I have an amazing business partner. The Everygirl is doing well. Couldn't be happier.

My home. Instead of stressing about the decorating process, I've decided to have fun with it. I was trying to rush and photograph my home for my next home tour, but decided to slow down and have it photographed early next year.

Family. I wouldn't trade my crazy little family for anything.

My pup. I'm not sure how I ended up with the most perfect dog in the world, but I did. Buddy is the sweetest little guy. I love my little roommate/co-worker. 

My health / CrossFit. For the first time in my life, I have found an exercise routine that I love, and I am so grateful for being healthy enough to CrossFit. I still cannot get over the fact that I have been exercising on a regular basis (4-5x a week) for six months. And I love my CrossFit girls.

Chicago. I live in an amazing city. Three years after visiting Chicago for the first time, I find myself sitting in my cozy little apartment with a new business, business partner, and some of the most wonderful friends a girl could ask for.

This blog. It completely changed my life. 

Wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 


The Everygirl // Kate Spade Event

We've posted a full recap of our event for Kate Spade on The Everygirl today, but I wanted to share a two of my favorite photos with you. When John and Maura photographed me for my home tour last December and photographed us for The Everygirl last Feb, my hair was very, very short. I have since grown it out and finally reached legit length a month or two ago.

That said–I am so excited to have some real photos with my longer hair. And thanks to Blowtique, our hair was looking great that night. Must learn to use my curling iron! 


Sequins on SALE at J. Crew

Three of my favorite sequined tops are currently on sale at J Crew. I bought the black and white stripes today and wore the pink stripes last weekend (photo here). And the entire store is another 25% off. Happy Shopping!

Never underestimate the power of a little sparkle. While on the bus today, a 7 year old girl complemented my black and white polka dot nails, sparkly silver phone case, and candy cane straw. As my brilliant co-founder put it: 30 is the new 7. Have a little fun this holiday season!

Which one is your favorite?

The Everygirl // Kate Spade New York #weloveyoukatespade

Alaina and I have gotten to do some pretty wonderful things since launching The Everygirl almost nine months ago, but I have to tell you–being asked to host at event at Kate Spade New York in Chicago and to create a holiday gift guide on their website has been one of the most exciting experiences to date. Not sure that I've processed having our names next to Deborah Lloyd, Brad Goreski (LOVE him), and some of our favorite bloggers. It is exciting and completely surreal. At this time last year, we were two blogger/graphic designers three months away from launching a website. And here we are, almost nine months later–hosting an event at Kate Spade. I can't believe it. Stay tuned for a full recap of the event on TEG tomorrow!

A little write up in Vanity Fair–they called us "lovely" and are "obsessed" with The Everygirl. Is this real life?

With my best girl/other half/co-founder Alaina Kaczmarski. Thank you to Blowtique for the waves!

With our friend Ashley and blogger Emily. I love my sidekick sweater!

And a few of my favorites. Look at that list on the left. We are literally on top of Brad Goreski. Best. Day. Ever. See the rest of our picks by visiting Kate Spade!

 is this seat taken | brightspot ave stacy | jewel print henrita skirt | scotty earrings
polka dot thermos | gramercy grand watch

I've been doing CrossFit exactly six months and one week, and had the best workout of my life yesterday. When I first started CrossFit, I was told that I should be able to back squat my weight, so that was high on my list of future goals. Five months ago, I could only back squat 78 lbs. Five weeks ago–115, and yesterday I squatted more than my weight for the first time–130 lbs! Then I did 9 pull-ups in a row with the blue band, and for the first time ever, three pull-ups with the red band. I am getting there! Best workout of my life. Feels so good! 

It was exactly three years ago today that I got off the train in Lincoln Park and it hit me–this city would be my home. That move was the best and most irrational thing I've ever done. It has not been easy, but has been the greatest experience of my life. I am so thankful.


Lately // First Date with Chicago

Three years ago today I visited Chicago for the first time, and this city has had my heart ever since. On day two I got off the train in Lincoln Park and had it hit me–I had found my new home. It took months to finally work up the courage to leave LA, but as I write this post three years later, I am so happy that I took this leap of faith. I have made some incredible friends, gained a business partner, launched a website, found CrossFit, and found myself, too.

And on to the past week. As always, I did a ton of work, worked out, and did some more decorating, too. On Thursday night, The Everygirl hosted an event at Kate Spade in Chicago (we will share photos on The Everygirl this week).

Went to CrossFit after work. New PR–105 lb front squat x2. After our workout we saw Argo. Such a great movie! Pretty sure Ben Affleck will be nominated for something. 

Woke up at 6:30am to run 3 miles and do an hour of yoga with friends to benefit Imerman Angels. Two hours later we had our paleo challenge partner WOD–2 rounds 500 m row and 10 burpees, 4 rounds 10 thrusters, and 5 rounds of 10 pull-ups. After the workout, I did 10 pull-ups with the blue band. So much working out for one day! Could barely walk by the time I was done. That night I met friends at Old Town Pour House, and then Declan's. I wore my new pink striped sequin top (currently on sale)!

Watched a little TV in bed with the pup and then Alaina and I had a photo shoot for The Everygirl featuring one of our favorite brands–Lo and Sons. Did some cleaning, cooking (made my chicken stew and PaleOMG's chicken enchilada stew), edited photos, and watched some TV. And I may or may not have put a few small Christmas decorations up. 

I finally found my Christmas stockings. Just need to decide between the faux fur and cotton ruffle cuff. Which one would you choose?

And in case you missed it, Lo and Sons is offering 30% off any purchase with the code THEEVERYGIRL1 through the end of the month. I have the OGin black and carry it everywhere


Around here

I have made some serious progress on my apartment the past month, and I am really starting to love my little home. I framed my Christian Louboutin signed box top (bottom frame in the top left photo), my faux fireplace has been filled with wood, gallery walls are almost done, and for the first time in my adult life, I have matching lamps and nightstands. While it's still very obvious that I love black, white, gold, and grey, I have added a few pops of color throughout my apartment. It's starting to feel awfully cozy–just in time for winter and the holidays.  

Row 1 // left to right
Gallery wall –pottery barn frames, wisteria mirror. art by jessica durrant, paperfashion, and sarah and bendrix
Bed–Serena and Lily bedding, custom pillows, euro style lighting nightstand and lamp, ballard headboard
Living room–Serena and Lily chair, faux fireplace filled with wood

Row 2 // left to right
Mantle–frame, candle, candleholder, deer print (etsy shop has closed)
Bar–vintage bar cart, west elm mirror, cocoa and hearts art in reflection
Living room–cb2 console, pouf via etsy

Row 3 // left to right
Desk–west elm parsons desk, mouse pad, ballard lamp (old)
art c/o lulu and drew
Dining room–jessica durrant art, flower wall art (sold out), zinc letter

Any favorite shops for affordable art? And–want to weigh in on these two prints from The Animal Print Shop?

 Giraffe or monkey? Which one would you choose?



The Everygirl and Kate Spade New York. Is this real life?
Looking forward to having my hair blown out at Blowtique.
So excited that my friends are coming tonight. Means so much to me.

Chicago readers, hope to see you there!
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram for photos // updates!
If you have any trouble finding me, I'll be the one in jewels and tinsel.
I look like a walking holiday party. And I love it.

Happy Thursday!


Two Everygirls and a Turkey

If you follow The Everygirl on Facebook, you may have read that Alaina and I are planning on making a Thanksgiving turkey for the first time ever in life. While I love a good practical joke, this is actually happening without the help of our mothers or someone (anyone!) who knows what they're doing. So if the joke is on anyone, it's us. But in all honesty, I think we've got this. Or I hope so. We'll be posting our adventures in the kitchen on The Everygirl next week, just in time for Thanksgiving. Maybe you'll even learn a thing or two from us (which is why we're doing this).

I also plan on tackling mashed sweet potatoes and a fancy/festive paleo dessert for my Thanksgiving dinner with friends. And yes–I plan on posting both recipes on my blog!

Have you ever made a turkey? Any tips for us? Wish us luck! 

all images via


Let it snow

After temps in the mid-high 60s on Sunday, we're back down to the 30s and in the mornings it's "felt like" it was in the 20s (stupid wind chill). We actually had our first very light snow late last night. My computer is in front of three windows, but I somehow managed to miss the first snow. #idiot

Winter is officially on its way, and I  trying to brace myself for months of freezing weather. Now that it's cold and windy, I find myself walking down the street with tears streaming down my face. My eyes are very sensitive, and I look like I just went through a breakup. It is ridiculous, and I actually considered buying a pair of ski goggles to keep this from happening. Because ski goggles are cool. And I walked a mile to the dentist today–I swear I almost developed frostbite.

Now that it's too cold to go outside without my fingers freezing and falling off, it is time to winterize. I love these striped glittens and  this puffy coat from J. Crew. both on sale + an extra 30% off.

image via


Giveaway: Kaeng Raeng

As you know, health is a topic that is very important to me. So when I found Kaeng Raeng, I knew I had to give it a try. I am not an advocate of crazy cleanses (water, lemon, and cayenne? gross/stupid), but this one made sense to me. You are receiving nutrients and giving your body a chance to reset. I've also found that cleanses like this give me a new outlook on food, and a better sense of control of what and how much I put in my body. It is made from California grown ingredients and is animal free, gluten free, caffeine free and eco-friendly.

Here's how it works:

Choose your level: The Beginner (for first time users - our most gentle formula), The Veteran (for those having done at least one detox - our medium level intensity), or The Master (for regular detoxers - you know who you are).

Choose your timeline - either 3 or 6 day. You can use water, juice, or non-dairy milk. For best results, just add water. You can also blend it with liquid, frozen fruit, or ice for a thicker sweeter smoothie.

Today I am giving away a 3 day beginner cleanse. I have tried the beginner and even though I am no longer a vegetarian, I plan on trying the advanced post-paleo challenge. I mix the packet in the blender with ice and water, and it tastes like a delicious smoothie.

To enter:
Leave a comment telling me something about your diet or exercise routine and like Kaeng Raeng on Facebook.

You have until November 19 to enter. I will announce the winner on Twitter and Facebook so be sure to follow me on one or both!

This Week

Work was busy as usual. Lots of big things in the works for The Everygirl, conference calls, and graphic design // custom blog design projects to work on, too. I spent lots of time at my desk.

Desk details: jonathan adler phone dock // gold flatware // parsons desk

J. Crew had another sale, so I picked up this heartbreaker sweater, a striped boatneck sweater, and some new pajamas

I really love how my fireplace and mantle are turning out. 

I woke up at 6:15 on Saturday morning to take part in RNCF // Rowfit Chicago's annual Box Hop, and then practiced my rowing form/technique with my paleo challenge coach. It probably would have been little easier had I not dropped a 45 lb bar on my foot just moments before we had to run 1.6 miles. #idiot I mostly made it through the run and one round of WOD 3 before I called it quits. On the plus side, my ribs are 100%, my shoulders are sore from finally being used but feel really good, and my foot is ok.

WOD #1 (At Rowfit Chicago)
3 Rounds for Time
300 Meter Row, 15 Hang Squat Cleans, 15 Burpees, 15 Pull Ups

WOD #2 
1.6 Mile KB Run from Rowfit Chicago to River North CrossFit (I hate running)

WOD #3 (at River North CrossFit)
3 Rounds for Reps // 1 minute per station
Kettle bell swings, Box Jumps, Handstand Push Up (scaled push up hand release hips off ground)

I had a total of three iced americanos on Sat and spent the rest of the day icing my foot. That night, we celebrated a friend's birthday at Untitled. I was up for 20 hours straight and spent Sunday cleaning, watching TV, and doing absolutely nothing. It's been a while since I've had a lazy Sunday. It was lovely.

How was your weekend?


Join The Everygirl at Kate Spade on November 15

I told you that The Everygirl had a little something in the works with kate spade new york, and I am so excited to finally share the news! Alaina and I are hosting a little holiday soiree at the Kate Spade store on Oak Street in Chicago! Join us on Thursday, November 15 for treats, drinks, and a little shopping. Just call the number on the invite to RSVP.

Hope to see you there! 

Here are a few more favorites from Kate Spade. I will be wearing this skirt to the event and may need to splurge on those Eddie Flats. You know how I love black and gold! And is it just me, or is the four calling birds iPhone case the cutest/most clever iPhone case you've ever seen? Bought it yesterday! My iphone is all dressed up for the holidays and my place smells like Christmas thanks to my favorite potpourri. And it's finally Friday! Life is good.

seaport watch $225 | seize the day paper weight $30 | eddie flats $228 | henrita skirt $298
pop fizz clink cards $24 | mod spot tech earmuffs $88 | catherine $69 | karolina heel $298
 four calling birds iphone case $40 | gold coast flannel dove $268 | cooper watch $195

What are your two favorites in this roundup?


The Everygirl for Home Depot

It has been so exciting to be able to partner with some of our favorite brands since launching The Everygirl almost 9 months ago. Banana Republic, Career Builder, Rue, and most recently, The Home Depot, to name a few. Home Depot asked us to style a mantle for their style challenge series. Christmas styling project in October? Yes, please. And next week we're partnering with Kate Spade! (more on that soon–promise)

 Photography by me

Meeting one of my very favorite designers tonight. Here's a clue–he's fierce, fabulous, and flawless. Any guesses?

Happy Thursday!

In the Kitchen: Paleo Chicken Stew

I have no idea how I went 30 years without a crock pot. Maybe it was the fact that I grew up in LA where it's 70-80 degrees 350 days a year. Or maybe it was because I never cooked. Whatever the reason, I was missing out! I bought my first crock pot in September and have used it at least twice a week since. Things have gotten fancy–I've come up with my own recipe. And–drum roll please...it's actually good. And healthy. And paleo.

4 organic free range chicken breasts
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 yellow onion, chopped
5-6 stalks of celery
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
8-10 oz. organic vegetable or chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp thyme, rosemary, and oregano
*Spice measurements are approximate. If I am correct, chefs don't measure ingredients, either.

How to make it:
Put your crock pot on low
Place ingredients in the crock pot
Cook for 6 hours.
Shred chicken with a fork.


And let's take a moment to discuss my beautiful napkins and placemats c/o Stone Textile. They're beauuuuutiful.


Mad about Plaid

I bought this black watch plaid shirt last month, but that was before I saw J. Crew's tartan plaid shirt. I like black watch plaid but love tartan plaid. Not that I'm comparing sketchers to a prada backpack or anything (please tell me you know where that reference is from)–because both are fun. But a tartan plaid shirt at Christmas sounds kind of perfect. And to top it off, everything at J. Crew is 25% off through tomorrow. They make it impossible to stay away.

Black watch or tartan plaid? Which one would you choose?


So, you want to try CrossFit. Let's talk about it.

If you're interested in learning more about CrossFit, this is for you. If you aren't sure about CrossFit, this might inspire you to give it a try. And if you aren't interested in CrossFit and are reading a post titled "So you want to try CrossFit. Let's talk about it." I can't help you. Today I'd like to tell you about my initial impressions of CrossFit, a few misconceptions, and what I wish I knew when I joined RNCF 6 months ago.

As you know, I love CrossFit, so it's been very exciting to receive emails and tweets from readers asking questions about it. I've also heard from readers and friends who have decided to give paleo and/or CrossFit a try. I love hearing that this blog has inspired people to change the way they take care of themselves. I would like to thank Gina (again) for inspiring me to try CrossFit. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways, and I am so glad I've gained this new lifestyle, a new best friend, and a whole new group of I am lucky to call my friends. Thanks, G. Love you so much! 

Before CrossFit, I tried every workout and diet under the sun. And I did it all because I wanted to be skinny. t was all about depriving myself of everything I thought I loved and trying to become something that didn't know I did not want to be. I went into more detail on this when I wrote about why I CrossFit. Things have changed so much the past 6 months. I work out and eat well to be healthy. Strong. In shape. To feel good. But skinny? Not what I'm going for. Yes, I have gotten smaller, look better, and feel better, too. But the way I view food and fitness is just so different now.

CrossFit is not for everyone, but if you're interested in giving it a try, you should commit to giving it a real chance before making a decision. Had I gone only once, I probably would have just given up. I was positive that I'd hate it and it was (and still is) very hard. You will be sore. It will push you. But it is also the most fun and rewarding workout I have ever tried. And this is coming from a girl who was never an athlete and never worked out for a month straight in her life. It has changed me.

Doing Curtis Ps a few months ago–that's only 35 lbs. Jen + Maxine are doing 55.

Paleo is awesome.  I am three weeks into the paleo challenge and feel fantastic. Minus the fact that I can only have 1 glass of red wine a day (I have had 4 glasses total in 3 weeks which is less than I'd have in a normal weekend), I do not feel restricted. And I've even learned to adjust to not drinking more than a glass a night on the weekends. I did cheat and had some vodka Halloween weekend, but a. we're allowed one cheat meal a week and b. it was a holiday. Two drinks felt like five. Alcohol really hits you when you're on the challenge. Like woah.

Learn the moves. Even if you're in shape, it is so important that you go over the proper form and sign up for an intro/basics program. There is a lot to learn and it takes a while to become familiar with all the CrossFit terms. And don't worry–the coaches go over everything before each WOD.

 CrossFitters coming together for Barbells for Boobs.

Don't overdo it. I never thought I'd say this about working out, but I would go to CrossFit every single day if I could. Most people go 3 days on 1 day off 4-5x a week. I have a very sensitive neck. I hold all my tension up there and overcompensate for weak muscles by over-using my shoulders, so I'm a mess right now. I have scaled back a bit and learned the importance of taking a rest day (or two). Listen to your body and don't overdo it.

It is not a competitive environment. I am still way behind most of my friends who have been at it much longer than I have, and never feel like there's any pressure to be "as good" as they are. Just last week, I got an 80 lb PR while Maxine and Gina got 109. They were just as excited for me as I was for them. It's all about showing up and doing what you can. It is an incredibly supportive and motivating environment.

Say goodbye to your pretty lady hands. I initially freaked out about this but have since embraced the baby calluses that have been forming on my palms. This was taken right after doing a bunch of kb swings, so my hands do not usually look this bad.

Buy a jump rope. I recommend buying your own rope to practice DUs (double unders). The most I've ever done is 3 in a row, and it was within a few days of buying my own rope. I also recommend buying CrossFit shoes as soon as you can. Makes lifting much easier. I only wear my Nikes on days when we do not lift.

Always pay attention when doing box jumps or you will probably fall and hurt yourself. This is especially true if you're a girl. I know of two other girls who have fallen on a box the past few months. Don't take your eyes off that damn box or this will happen to you.

You will not get bigger unless you lift like a crazy person and want to bulk up. I am down about 7 lbs from when I started but have gained muscle, and again–not really focused on the number as much as how I feel and the fact that my clothes fit differently. So many people have a misconception that you'll bulk up, but that is not the case.

CrossFit mixes things up. And it's fun. The time of each WOD varies, but we're always there for an hour. I usually show up a few minutes early to stretch on my own. We usually warm up with a 400m run, 500m row, or sometimes we'll do double unders. Then on to dynamic stretching and some sort of pre wod (we'll work on something, like a max back squat or push press). Then the WOD which can be anywhere from 6-30+ minutes). Last week we had 6, 7, and 8 min AMRAP (as many reps as possible) WODs. Then there are big cardio days where it's 5 rounds of xyz and it takes anywhere from 15-30 min.

The sense of community is bananas. My CrossFit friends are some of the best people I know. We WOD together, celebrate our birthdays together, the girls have ladies nights, and I think I've seen some (or most) of them every weekend. I really don't know what I did without them.

Celebrating Elizabeth's 30th! With Jessie, Colleen, Emily, Elizabeth, Bri, and Maxine.

Celebrating Megan and John running the marathon! With Amanda, Lindsey, Gina, Colleen, Megan, and Emily.

Megan, Kelsey, Gina, Jen, Amanda, Jessie, Colleen, Elizabeth. Maxine, and Sarah at my place last night.

Another thank you to my girls for coming over last night. The paleo potluck was so much fun and as you can see, little Buddy loved having all those ladies around.

It's really hard. Wall balls, burpees, HSPU (hand stand push ups–which I still do on the box because they're so hard), and double unders are the worst. Don't avoid them. Rowing killed me at the beginning and then I got much better at it, but some people hate rowing more than anything. Stick with it and you will get better. I promise. I am crazy competitive (with myself) and tend to become very frustrated when I can't do something. I've learned to just calm down and go with it. I am on the right path and that's all that matters.  

You are going to be sore the first few weeks–especially if you are as out of shape as I was. Even if you're in shape you'll probably be sore. It hurt to sit, walk, stand, or lay down. And in my case, it hurt to breathe for a while. But that didn't stop me. If I can handle the pain, you can too. Give it some time. You will adjust. And it will get much better. 

If you stick with it, you will feel better, stronger, and healthier than ever. Period.
I am so excited to have finally found what works for me and encourage you to find something that makes you feel this good. If you are in Chi and want to give CrossFit a try, the basics start at RNCF next week. And please email or comment with any Qs about CrossFit. Happy to help.


This Week

Work was crazy last week, and I enjoyed every moment of my lazy but busy low key weekend. Started the weekend off with a girls night with Caitlin. Dinner, wine, and While You Were Sleeping.

CrossFit on Saturday and Sunday. We had our first paleo challenge WOD which consisted of a pull-up clinic and 10 pull-ups, 20 wall balls, 30 burpees, 20 wall balls, 10 pull-ups, 50 sit ups. I'm sore!

Stopped by an event on Saturday and then met friends at Stanley's where I ran into Audrey. Went home and spent the night relaxing with Buddy and (Gina's pup) Minnie. They loved their little sleepover. Those two are like peas in a pod. Peanut butter and jelly. Romeo and Juliet. So cute.

Did a little shopping in Lincoln Park. Finally bought the gold flatware from West Elm. It's 20% off and there's free shipping online. What are you waiting for? I also picked up a new bathroom rug, candleholders, and finally got wood for my faux fireplace. It. Looks. Insane.  

Ordered new pillows from Aurelia on etsy (she made my bengal bazaar pillow in my last home tour). She's making four new pillows for me. All neutral and bright coral velvet. Fierce. 

I am having my autographed Christian Louboutin box top (a gift from my sis) and print from Sarah and Bendrix framed. And my painting from Lulu and Drew arrived! It's lovely.

Ended the weekend with dinner and a girls night with my friend Kat. We picked up my wood at the lumber yard, went to dinner, and relaxed at my place for a bit. It was really nice, until my hair caught on fire.

Getting my hair straightened today and having ten CrossFit girls over for a paleo potluck tonight. Cannot wait.

Happy Monday!


Girl on Fire

No–this is not a post about Hunger Games. I am writing this post because I was literally on fire earlier this evening. After all the precautions you might take to improve fire safety in your home - see this post from Ryan Homes for more on that - you don't usually imagine yourself being flammable. My friend Kat was over and I thought it would be nice to light a few candles on my mantle. I stood on my TV stand because I couldn't reach the wick in the largest hurricane, and I leaned over a lit taper. Before I knew it, my hair was on fire. It lit up like a match and smelled horrible. I only singed a little hair by my hairline. And fortunately, it's not noticable.

While this is kind of funny, it could have been a lot more serious. Candles are kind of dangerous, so as the cold weather and holidays approach, please be careful with them. Pull your hair back, or don't lean over a burning taper.

Good luck to you.


Hall Table / Black and Gold

I love these two tables from Lulu and Georgia, and have my heart set on one of these for my little black hallway. I'd love something with storage but these are so pretty that I am willing to let that go. I know which one I'm leaning toward but would love it if you'd weigh in.

Which one would you choose?

I heart Fridays

I could not be happier that it's finally Friday. After a week of e-meetings, conference calls, consults, design projects, etc...I am looking forward to some much needed down time this weekend. On the agenda–plans with friends, CrossFit, puppy sitting Minnie (Buddy can hardly contain his excitement), and girls night in with Kat on Sunday. Feeling lots of love for my friends and sweet little pup who have gotten me through the past week. And even though it's left me completely exhausted, I really do love my job. And my other job. And all these hearts.

I love these budget friendly heart socks too, but the cashmere ones are sooo pretty.
If that magic fairy returned (yes–again!) and said she'd give you one of these items, what would you choose?

Happy. Happy. Friday.


Deck Those Halls

I'm not sure where the time has gone, but it's November 1st and the holidays are officially upon us. I woke up yesterday morning to temps in the 30s and before I know it, snowflakes will fall in Chicago. I love Christmas time. The lights, the music, Christmas movies, holiday cheer, and the decorations! It should not come as a surprise to you that when it comes to Christmas decor, I tend to stick with neutrals. Except for black watch and tartan plaid. I love a little plaid.

I have decided that I'll be spending the holidays in Chicago. Since I'm on the paleo challenge, I can't have any Thanksgiving treats (no pie! sad.) anyway, and the thought of traveling home with Buddy sounds too stressful, and I will not board him. A few of my friends are making plans to get together for Thanksgiving, but I'm not sure about Christmas. I realize the situation I am putting myself in and know that this may be the year I spend Christmas on my own, While You Were Sleeping style. You know the story. Lucy spends the holidays alone (in Chicago) until she jumps on the tracks to save Peter and then meets Jack. An unlikely scenario, but I do live in Chicago, so I suppose I've got a chance.

What are you doing for the holidays?